JJ Brown, 12, San Diego Seaport Aquatics (SDSA-SI): 500 free, 5:12.74 – Nearly two years ago, a then 11-year-old JJ Brown owned a best time of 7:31.00 in the 500 free. In his first swim of 2018, he dropped that to 6:34.07, and but the end of the year was 5:26.61. Brown opened 2019 in February with a 5:20.32 and then last weekend, went 5:12.74, a new quadruple-A cut.
Natalie Trapanick, 15, Dedham Heath Hydras (DHH-NE): 100 fly, 58.02 – Fifteen-year-old Natalie Trapanick has only swum three 100 butterflies in her life, all of them coming this year. In her first-ever attempt, she went 1:31.14. Ten days later, in mid-February, Trapanick went 1:24.05. Last weekend, at the 2019 KING Fall Fiesta, she went 58.02, a triple-A cut. She also went a best time in the 50 free (30.63) and 100 breast (1:34.36).
Andrew Billitto, 14, West Florida Lightning Aquatic (WFLA-FL): 200 back, 1:55.71 – A year ago, a then-13-year-old Andrew Billitto had yet to break 2:00 in the 200 back. In December 2018, he went 1:57.12, and in February 2019, 1:57.10. Other than one swim in March, Billitto didn’t race the 200 back again in short course until last weekend, when he went 1:55.71.
Alex Shackell, 12, Rockwood Swim Club (RSCA-OZ): 400 IM, 4:49.26 – Twelve-year-old Alex Schackell swam the first 400 IM of her career, and that in and of itself is a wonder enough. Not to mention, she hit a triple-A cut.
Thomas Shomper, 17, Waterloo Swimming (WLOO-ST): 200 IM, 1:55.08 – Seventeen-year-old Thomas Shomber has only swum one 200 IM this year, but he made it count in a big way. He closed 2018 with a best time of 2:01.37, done in November at 16 years old. Ten months later, Shomper went 1:55.08 at the 2019 ASC ACL Invitational last weekend, a new 2019 Futures cut. He also went a Futures cut and new lifetime best in the 100 back at 51.17.
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